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Indonesia’s Widodo announces site of new capital

Indonesian President Joko Widodo  has unveiled plans to move the country’s administrative capital from Jakarta to Borneo island.

Mr. Widodo told a news conference in Jakarta on Monday that  the current capital was a “crowded, polluted city” on the north coast of Java island which was “slowly sinking”.

It was urgent that relocation plans commence, although the capital would not physically begin to be relocated until 2024, he said.

The new capital, which does not yet have a name, would be located in Borneo’s East Kalimantan province, near the existing Samarinda City and the port city of Balikpapan, important for coal and oil shipments.

According to the president, the new site is “a strategic location at the center of Indonesia, close to growing urban area.”

Mr. Widodo said moving the capital would cost 466 trillion rupiah ($32.79 billion), of which the state would fund 19%, with the rest from public-private partnerships and private investment.

The price tag includes new government offices and homes for about 1.5 million civil servants.

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